Germans still love a good parade, don’t they?
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Germany’s disgraced president has stepped down following a full military honours ceremony and pocketing an annual pension and perks package worth over $380,000 after less than two years in the job.
Christian Wulff, 52, was forced to resign after state prosecutors demanded his presidential immunity was lifted as part of a corruption investigation, a scandal that has deeply damaged Angela Merkel’s government.
Controversial to the last, there is widespread anger that Mr Wulff was granted a grand tattoo of German military bands on Thursday night to play him out of office to the tune, at his request, of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.
The torch lit parade by hundreds of Bundeswehr soldiers in front of the grandeur of Berlin’s presidential Bellevue Palace is a further embarrassment for the German Chancellor who attended the ceremony in spite of a boycott by four former presidents and opposition politicians.
“Somebody who failed in office is having a farewell ceremony as if he did great things for Germany,” said Sigmar Gabriel the head of the Social Democrat Party.
Despite resigning amid serious corruption allegations, the former president will be entitled to a personal pension of $264,000 a year, as well as a chauffeured limousine and cash to run a staffed office…
Many Germans are angry that, even after being disgraced, Mr Wulff will be entitled to an income which is 16 times the average pension and five times the median salary in Germany.
Another corrupt politician in a useless office — kicked out and gets to take a chunk of the national treasury with him for snuggles and giggles. Ridiculous. Will his peers do anything about it. What do you think?
We had a similar send-off here in New Mexico for Manny Aragon when he stepped down from his longtime position of leadership in the state legislature – to take a little vacation in prison for kickbacks, bribery and corruption. Ain’t anything changed here either.